Tuesday, March 4, 2014

English Program in Korea - EPIK

EPIK is a Korean educational program affiliated with the Korean Ministry of Education. It was created in 1995 and since then has been a host of various native English teachers from around the world to come and teach English to Korean students ranging from elementary to high school.

I have been heavily interested in the prospect to teach abroad, especially through EPIK. There are many benefits to going through EPIK - a free place to live, food stipend, and a contract that specifies your length of work. Aside from these work-related benefits, it is simply amazing that one will get paid to teach and discover a new part of the world.

If you are interested in teaching in Korea, below is a very useful video offering tips on what to pack for going to Korea.

Being a Masters in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), I feel very excited that I can put my knowledge and skills of the field to the test when going abroad. I am very interested in working anytime between 1-2 years to get teaching knowledge and use that to teach in other countries.

Please inquire! Who knows, you might be offered an opportunity to teach abroad!


Wikimapia is pretty much integrating something like Google maps and Wikipedia. You might be surprised that on clicking the link, you saw a map of North Korea's secretive Office 39 (which is rarely heard of and not found in Google Maps). Wikimapia can be modified by anyone - an example of Web 2.0 technology. When we modify geographical locations in Wikimapia, we can add pictures of the location, description of the place, and link other sources of information.

Because this is a site that is enhanced by the collaboration of its users, it brings in much more light of how an area can really be. We can have locals of a given area provide first hand knowledge of say a rural town in Mexico better than a site like Google maps.

Above is a picture of an airbase in Syria. We will likely not find something like this on Google maps because it is very likely that Google does not have such access to Syrian infrastructure and locations. Since users can contribute to maps, we can have a resident identify locations, such as the image above.       

Below is an instructional video on adding locations to Wikimapia.                           

Try finding what you want on Wikimapia. It's a map created by people like you!

Monday, March 3, 2014

One useful app that I use - Shazam

Shazam is an application that helps you identify a song. Using this app is very easy, in fact, you do not need to register or sign up. All you need is to download this app for your smart phone. Once downloaded, open the app to begin finding out those amazing songs you do not know the name of!

The app has some buttons that improve its usefulness, however, I only use two. The first button is the most important, it is a big, blue, circle button in the middle of the screen where letters right above it show "Touch Shazam". Second, it's the tag button. The tag button is simply a library of your collected songs where you can refer to for in the future.

This app has given me much relief when I would hear a song over the radio and I wanted to know the name and singer of the song but had no clue! Depending reliability of your phone company, the app should not take anymore than ten seconds to come up with the information of the song. You can also decide to purchase the song through iTunes.

I would recommend this application for everyone. Try it for yourself!